After the final six rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft take place the annual mad rush to sign undrafted free agents will take place Saturday evening. When it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers, they usually sign ten or so undrafted free agent players every year but that number might wind up being slightly less this year.
Heading into the start of the 2020 NFL Draft Thursday night, the Steelers had 77 players under contract. With the team scheduled to make six selections in the final six rounds, that would leave seven spots of their maximum allowed 90-man roster available for undrafted free agents unless they part ways with others already under contract.
Perhaps the Steelers will have a smaller undrafted free agent class this year but pay more for a few higher priority ones. Personally, I’d like to see them go that route with there not being any rookie minicamp or OTA practices this offseason due to the coronavirus pandemic. Paying more to get higher quality undrafted free agent players might be the best plan this year.
According to former NFL agent Joel Corry of CBS Sports on Thursday, the 2020 undrafted rookie reservation amount per team is $123,279. That’s the maximum that teams can give in total signing bonus amount. In case you’re curious, the 2019 undrafted rookie reservation amount per team was $109,115.
Some teams will guarantee portions of minimum base salaries in addition to giving small signing bonuses to entice undrafted players to sign with them. The Steelers don’t utilize such tactics, however, and usually they only give a few undrafted players signing bonuses of $10,000 or more. Last year, cornerback Alexander Myres received the highest signing bonus for the Steelers and that was $20,000.
If the Steelers do wind up signing more than seven undrafted free agents later this weekend, a few players who are candidates to be cut would be the ones signed to futures contracts earlier in the offseason. That list of players includes Myres, wide receiver Jamal Custis, wide receiver Quadree Henderson, quarterback J.T. Barrett, running back Ralph Webb, safety Tray Matthews, tight end Christian Scotland-Williamson, tackle Christian DiLauro, tackle Derwin Gray, tight end Kevin Rader, defensive end Henry Mondeaux, safety John Battle, wide receiver Anthony Johnson and running back Darrin Hall.